Breaking Down UM vs. OU

Lets take a closer, position-by-position look at Saturday's game between the Hurricanes and Sooners.

QUarterbacks -- Even
Neither quarterback has proven a whole lot at the college level. Miami's Kirby Freeman has five career starts under his belt while Oklahoma's Sam Bradford has one. Kirby may have the edge there but playing with the home crowd probably evens things out. One guy will likely have an edge coming out of the game but I don't see one with an edge going in.

Running Backs -- Even
Oklahoma's Allen Patrick had a very good year while splitting time with Adrian Peterson last season. The numbers he and Javarris James put up last season were pretty similar. Just like Miami has a young phenom in Graig Cooper, the Sooners have one in Demarco Murray.

Wide Receivers -- Oklahoma
The Sooners are led by Malcolm Kelly, a 6-4 kid who is widely considered a first round prospect for the NFL. He's proven. He's legit. He's a go-to guy who the Sooners can certainly rely on in third down situations. Miami is still searching for that guy. The Sooners probably have more depth and they have more proven players at this position.

Tight Ends -- Oklahoma
The Sooners have two very talented tight ends who had solid seasons a year ago. The Hurricanes are still trying to find a legitimate replacement for Greg Olsen. While the tight ends at Miami are probably just as talented as the ones in Norman, they have the edge since they're more proven.

Offensive Linemen -- Oklahoma
Both teams have a lot of experience so it's pretty even from that standpoint. However, you've got to give the edge to Oklahoma since they were a lot more productive a season ago, both in the running back and in pass pro. Under new coach Jeff Stoutland, the Canes appear to be much better than in recent years but they still have to prove they're a really good group against a quality opponent.

Defensive Linemen -- Miami
Oklahoma's defensive tackles are all very talented. They have 5-star guys who were recruited by Miami all over the place. However, they're still unproven in a lot of ways like the group Miami has. Inside, it's pretty even but the Hurricanes are better at defensive end and that's the reason the Canes get the edge here.

Linebackers -- Miami
Oklahoma's middle linebacker is new and doesn't have the overall game experience like Tavares Gooden and/or Darryl Sharpton. Of their two outside guys, one is coming off an ACL injury from last year and one is a recently converted safety. The Canes have the edge here, especially with one of the top young linebacker coaches in college football (Micheal Barrow).

Secondary -- Oklahoma
Things are pretty even at safety. Both have one big time guy back there. Oklahoma's corners are more proven than Miami's right now and that's why they get the edge here.

Special Teams -- Oklahoma
The Sooners have one of the top field goal kickers in all of college football. He was 19-of-20 last season. Miami's is brand new. Punters are about even and both return games have gamebreakers. The difference is the field goal kicker, especially in a big game that could be decided by a field goal or two.

Coaching -- Oklahoma
I'm a huge fan of Randy Shannon. I love the coaching staff he's put together. I think they all have very bright futures. However, they're very inexperienced, especially in games like this, at their respective positions. Bob Stoops and company have plenty of experience in big games. They've lost twice in six years at home. Stoops has already won a national championship. Shannon and co. are hoping to get to that point in their careers.


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